Part of Your World: On the Arts and Wellbeing

The latest feature article from the folks at Createquity looks at how the arts contributes broadly to our wellbeing:

For all our never-ending debates about how and whether to measure the impact of the arts, our field may be well poised to contribute to this complex but fascinating dialogue that spans so many disciplines and decades. After all, if anyone is accustomed to making value judgments within an environment that resists quantification, it’s us! Committing to that conversation could open new doors as we contribute to a broader, shared understanding of human progress without having to downplay some of the arts’ more unique, intrinsic contributions. Entering those doors, however, will require leaving the arts cheerleading that many of us are accustomed to at the coat check. It will require contemplating what it looks like to offer the freedom to participate in arts and culture while simultaneously honoring those who decline the invitation.
NEA Webinar Examines Music Therapy, Music Listening, and the Cancer Experience

On Wednesday, September 16, 3pm EDT/noon PDT, the National Endowment for the Arts Task Force on the Arts and Human Development will hold a public webinar to cover some recent innovations in healthcare. Presenters include American Music Therapy Association Executive Director Dr. Andi Farbman, and music therapy researchers Dr. Debra Burns and Dr. Sheri L. Robb. The webinar will also feature Dr. Nolan Gasser, who, alongside his role as chief musicologist for Pandora, is working with Memorial Sloan-Kettering on an algorithm to match musical repertoires to the tastes of individuals who are being treated for cancer, with the aim of allaying their symptoms.

Research Center for Arts and Culture Will Join The Actors Fund to Extend Legacy

The Research Center for Arts and Culture (RCAC) — which provides data, information and programming in service of artists and the arts — is joining The Actors Fund in New York City to create The Legacy Project. It will continue its Art Cart project to assist older visual artists in documenting their work and develop a prototype for performing artists to do the same. The RCAC has spent the last four years at the National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA) in Washington, D.C.

Member Spotlight on the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts

For the month of September, GIA's photo banner features artistic work supported by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts in 2015. Founded in 1956, the Chicago-based foundation makes grants to individuals and organizations around the world for projects that advance new scholarship in the field of architecture, fuel creative experimentation and critical dialogue, and expand opportunities for public engagement with architecture and its role in contemporary society.

Open Circle Foundation Documents Learned Lessons as Foundation Prepares to Close

As the Open Circle Foundation begins the process of closing down after 15 years connecting artists and communities in the creation of public artworks focused on social and environmental justice, the foundation has documented the impact and thinking behind their work through a monograph. Trusting What we don’t know: Lessons from an Experiment in Art, Environment and Philanthropy in California’s East Bay is authored by Dr. Maribel L Alverez.

New from the GIA Reader: The Creative Social Enterprise: An Impact Investment

Rodney Trapp, from the George H. Heyman, Jr., Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising and New York University, looks at ways we can embrace market-driven strategies for impact investment in a creative economy in The Creative Social Enterprise: An Impact Investment.

Arizona Commission on the Arts Launches Creative Aging Initiative

The Arizona Commission on the Arts has launched an initiative to build a local creative aging infrastructure that improves quality of life for older adults. A $225,000 grant (over three years) from Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust will help the Arts Commission implement AZ Creative Aging, a comprehensive plan that trains artists, supports the development of high-quality arts programs for older adults, and embeds creative aging knowledge and best practices in the community. Dr. Gay Hanna, executive director of the National Center for Creative Aging, said the initiative’s level of private financial support coupled with the public policy commitment supporting creative programming for older adults is like nothing else in the nation.

Wells Fargo Advisors donates $100K to Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis

From The St. Louis American:

Wells Fargo Advisors and the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis (A&E) announced an expanded partnership in the areas of arts and culture. Wells Fargo Advisors’ total investment of $100,000 will expand access to creativity and expression opportunities for underserved youth and help build capacity for local arts organizations in the bi-state, metropolitan region… The majority of the investment ($50,000) will serve as a lead contribution establishing and launching an “Arts Education Fund” managed by A&E. The Fund will provide tuition scholarships and transportation subsidies intended to remove financial barriers that may prevent talented high school art students in underserved or low-income areas from expanding their creative training outside the traditional classroom setting.
Creative Work Fund Awards Grants in Media and Traditional Arts

The Creative Work Fund has announced their award of 14 grants totaling $543,250 that will support the creation of new works by San Francisco Bay Area artists who are working in collaboration with an array of nonprofit organizations to develop and present their work. From a mapping project that illuminates stories of evictions and displacement in Alameda County to a creative exchange between a traditional Lao molam (theatrical) group and a Lao rap artist, the projects reflect the rich variety of the region’s cultures and artistic practices. The Creative Work Fund was launched in 1994 to assert the value of philanthropic support for artists, the value of collaboration, and the special collaborative skills many artists bring to their craft and can share with nonprofit organizations.

New from the GIA Reader: The Creative Caregiving Initiative

The Creative Caregiving Initiative: Arts at the Intersection of Wellness is a report from Margery Pabst Steinmetz — founder and president of The Pabst Charitable Foundation for the Arts, and board president-elect of the National Center for Creative Aging — on the three-year evolution and journey from vision to implementation of the Creative Caregiving Initiative.